Facebook is losing young users to Snapchat even faster than expected

Facebook's Teen Drain       The social network has a tougher time convincing British kids to join              Source EMarketer Inc

Facebook's Teen Drain The social network has a tougher time convincing British kids to join Source EMarketer Inc

The breakdown by age group paints its own grim picture: American Facebook users 11 and below will decrease by 9.3% in 2018; the 12-to-17 bracket will dip by 5.6% and users aged 18 to 24 will decline by 5.8%. And even though the social network has been able to retain the teenage audience through its Instagram platform, Snapchat appears to be siphoning them away.

Facebook lost a large portion of users ages 12 to 17 in 2017, potentially showing that the company doesn't have as much of a stronghold over young minds as most tend to think.

The growth trends predicted by eMarketer indicate Facebook is reaching a saturation point in the USA and needs to boost its younger user base in order to sustain future growth. "There are now some early signs that younger social networkers are being swayed by Snapchat", said Fisher.

The social network is still growing but will rely on growth in older age groups. eMarketer predicts Facebook's total USA growth will be just 1 percent this year, similar to the growth it saw in the US and Canada in 2017.

Facebook has a "teen problem", the company said, adding that it expects fewer and fewer young social media users to continue to use the site in the future. Snapchat will add 1.9 million users under 25 in 2018 and Instagram will add 1.6 million. So, where are they migrating to? eMarketer has more bad news for Facebook. The overall monthly increase in users that Facebook likes to showcase during its earnings calls is mainly the result of older and global users.

While the number of teen users dropped considerably between 2015 and 2016, 13.57% more seniors (65+) joined the platform, from 13.3 million in 2015 to 15.1 in 2015. But now, they are flocking to Snapchat, and the ephemeral photo-sharing app's recent redesign is expected to accelerate this exodus.

However, Instagram overall is still bigger in the United States than Snapchat.

The social media network last month acknowledged that changes to the site's design reduced time spent by 5%, or 50 million hours. By comparison, Instagram (also owned by Facebook as of 2012) will record 104.7 million US users. Facebook is still adding monthly users overall, and will reach 169.5 million this year growing by just under 1%. Meanwhile, Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch yesterday that it's testing notifications for when someone screenshots your story-a feature that is integral to Snapchat. "That's the predicament Facebook is in", said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

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